Snohomish County has given the go-ahead for a $1 million grant for the City of Bothell to purchase the land known as Shelton View Forest.
“It’s one of the few remaining intact large parcels,” Bothell Parks and Recreation Director John Keates said. “We scored really high on preservation needs (with the county).”
The forest, which spans approximately 43 acres, has two parcels the city is interested in taking over, with one owned by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the other by MC Coast LLC. The grant is specifically for the 16-acre parcel owned by MC Coast, which was looking at developing the land but has agreed to hold off for a while to see if the city can find funding to purchase the land from the developer. Similarly, Bothell has a letter of option for the DNR property that terminates in 2019, according to Keates.
The city’s capital facilities plan includes setting aside $250,000 to look into the city acquiring a park in northern Bothell. Shelton View Forest is located in that area, with one trail head located on 234th Place S.E.
“It’s a very strategic acquisition for the city for acquiring park land in the Snohomish (County) section of Bothell,” Keates said, adding that he thought that’s why they were so successful with the Snohomish County grant.
The grant, which comes from the Snohomish County Conservation Futures Program, is just a piece of what the city will need to attain the property. Keates said a recent valuation needs to be done, but the 26-acre DNR parcel had a price tag between $2.6 million and $3 million, according to figures provided to Keates last year. Keates said they are starting to look into funding sources that would potentially match the $1 million Snohomish County grant.
Members of the Shelton View Forest Stewardship Association (SVFSA), in collaboration with city staff, wrote the grant request.
“(We’re) very excited, very hopeful that the city will be able to acquire that parcel and hopefully the rest of the forest,” SVFSA President Cheryl Stanford said.
“They were instrumental in helping with the process,” Keates said, adding they will continue to partner for more funding opportunities. “They really did a great job.”
Like Shelton View Forest, the North Creek Forest acquisition was funded in part through the Snohomish County Conservation Futures program. The city recently purchased the final parcel of North Creek Forest, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony held last week, something Stanford said the SVFSA sees as inspirational for its forest.
“We definitely look at what they have done and take a lot of inspiration and guidance from what they have accomplished,” Stanford said of the Friends of North Creek Forest and Help Our Woods groups.
While funding sources are being determined, Stanford said the SVFSA will continue to advocate to preserve the forest and maintain the existing trail system on the DNR parcel.
More information about the forest can be found online at sheltonview forest.org.